I would be lying if I said that the imagery in Dark Side of the Lens is what attracts me to this film. It’s the powerful mix of imagery, a poetic passion for the ocean, the art of vision making and the defining what a true Waterman is. I’m hooked. Watch, repeat. Watch, repeat. It’s like I’m 10 years old watching Top Gun over and over.
Mickey Smith is a lad that has lived a life a little less ordinary. As a young boy he grew up amongst a family of fisherman and mariners, so the ocean and the elements were inevitably where his eye was drawn. A natural observer, his Mum gave him a disposable camera at the age of nine. Cameras became a natural means of communication and documentation for Mickey, along with the music he was brought up around. This eventually translated into his work as a photographer and film maker.
I try to pay tribute to that magic through photographs, weathering the endless storms for rare glimpses of magic each winter is both a bless’n and a curse I relish. I want to see wave ride’n documented the way I see it in my head and the way I feel it in the sea. It’s a strange set of skills to begin to acquire. It’s only achievable through time spent riding waves, all sorts of waves on all sorts of crafts, means more time learning out in the water.
In 2010, Mickeys short film Dark Side of the Lens was quietly released on the internet, to wide critical acclaim, winning multiple awards and drawing heavy attention to his work from all corners of the globe.
As a result he has set up a small creative collective under the banner ‘The Astray’. He is still a regular contributor to the worlds top surfing magazines due to his pioneering work amongst the heavy waves of the Irish winter, but he continues to find a growing amount of diverse work offered to him on films, television ad campaigns and music videos.
For fires of happiness or waves of gratitude… for everything that brought us to that point on earth, at that moment in time to do something worth remembering for a photograph or a scar. I feel genuinely lucky to hand on heart to say I love what I do. And I may never be a rich man but if I live long enough, I’ll certainly have a tale or two for the nephews. And I dig the thought of that.
Winner – Best Cinematography, Rhode Island International Film Festival, 2011
Winner – Action Sports Category, Vimeo Awards 2012
Winner – G-Raid Driven Creativity award – Professional Category
Winner – Best Cinematography, 5Point Film Festival 2011
Winner – Grand Prize – Chamonix Film Festival 2011
Winner – Best short – New York Surf Film Festival 2011
Winner – Digital short of the Year, Surfer Poll
Winner – Relentless Short Stories 2011
Winner – Amstel Surf Film Festibal, Peoples Choice award
Winner – Best short, Sheffield Adventure Film Festival
Winner – Best International Short, Canadian Surf Film Festival
Winner – Best Short, Waimea Ocean Film Festival
For more info on The Ashtray, a product of Mickey Smith, click here.